Friday, December 01, 2006

Romans 3:22-23

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

V.22—We obtain God’s righteousness by grace through faith in Christ. It’s for all who believe, as there is no difference, no distinction, among the people of the world. Paul makes this clear over and over. Everyone is guilty; everyone needs to be justified before God. And everyone who believes, everyone who receives the righteousness of God by grace through faith, is justified before God. That’s it. Memorize it; never forget it; love it and cherish it. We need to always be reminded of this glorious truth and rejoice with praise and thanksgiving. We obtain God’s required righteousness through faith in Christ.

V.23—All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Paul says that we’ve missed the mark; we have broken God’s law. We fail to obey its positive commands, and we absolutely transgress its prohibitions: both omission and commission. Sin is falling short of God’s glory. It’s failing to exalt all of His character all of the time. Sin is idolatry and immorality, exchanging His glory for an image. And we’re all guilty. Now “missing the mark” might not sound too bad. It’s like, “Oh, I almost made it.” But as we know, “almost” only counts in horseshoes, darts, and hand-grenades. And when Paul says we’ve missed the mark, he’s not at all saying that we were almost there, so close. He’s really saying that we’ve missed the whole dartboard. We threw the horseshoe, and it landed in the ocean. The hand-grenade went off in our own hand. We have missed the whole point for which God made us. He made us to experience companionship with Him, to share His glory. And we failed to receive that glory, failed to glorify Him, and failed to reflect His glory. We missed the whole point of life. That’s what Paul is saying. Apart from Christ the verdict of God against every individual is going to be: “You missed the point.” It’s not that we got 43 percent of it, or 93 percent of it, or even 99.9 percent of it. We missed the whole point. And as frightening as that verdict is, Paul has such good news in the midst of it.

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